Nose Work

Kathe Baxter, CNWI, CPDT-KA, KPA - Training Director, Nose Work

Growing up with dogs, cats, guinea pigs, and rabbits, there was no way Kathe Baxter could not love animals! She has pursued her love of animals as a trainer and pet caregiver, training in K9 Nose Work, basic and advanced classes as well as pet therapy preparation and visits. Completion of her Professional Dog Trainer Certification (CPDT-KA), Certified Nose Work Instructor (CNWI), and Karen Pryor Certified Training Partner (KPA-CTP) were all extremely rewarding.

In K9 Nose Work, Kathe's Norwegian Elkhound "Litttle Lady Karita" was the first Elkhound to earn all three levels of Nose Work competition (NW1, NW2, NW3) as well as one of 11 teams to earn the first Elite titles in the Northeast. They qualified and attended the NACSW National Invitational two years in a row (2014-2015) and are on their way to qualifying for the next National Invitational to be held in 2017. Kathe achieved a NW1 and NW2 title with her dog Gunner; however, he was unable to continue his Nose Work career due to his untimely passing.

Kathe's passion for instructing is based on the sheer delight of bringing true joy and happiness to a person and their canine companion. She considers it an honor to be part of developing self-confidence and a genuine trusting relationship.

Kathe is a staff member of NACSW, holding the position of National Trial Coordinator and Certifying Official for NACSW trials. She hosts many sanctioned trials and held several primary positions as volunteer coordinator, score room lead, ORT Coordinator and ORT Judge.

In addition to being an active competitor in Nose Work, Rally, and Agility, Kathe is a member of the Hudson Valley Tracking Club, pursuing tracking and a participating as a trial tracklayer. Most gratifying were weekly Therapy Dog visits and, time permitting, working at the local shelter to help other dogs get a second chance.

Kathe takes continuing education very seriously, attending seminars, workshops, trials, and observing K9 teams as they search: detecting search patterns, environmental factors and the subtle body language of communication. This is invaluable knowledge and skills she passes on to handlers and their dogs.

Kathe can be reached at

George Berger, CNWI

George Berger has had a lifelong passion for and involvement with dogs through obedience, Nose Work, and therapy dog training. He is a member in good standing of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT). At PCOTC, he is teaching Nose Work classes.

For several years, George has been doing canine-therapy work, first with his Labrador/Golden Retriever, Dixie. The pair made over 500 visits at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, the pediatric units at Roosevelt and Bellevue Hospitals, and the Hallmark Assisted Living facility, all in the New York metropolitan area. Now, George's second dog, Paco, a Chihuahua mix, has become certified and has 200+ visits worth of experience.

Berger coordinates the therapy dog program at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in White Plains, and is the trainer for that program. He and his dogs have been certified/registered by the Delta Society, the Good Dog Foundation, and Intermountain Therapy Animals.

Berger was Publisher of AKC (American Kennel Club) magazines, 1999-2006. He has served as President of the Irvington (NY) Public Library, The O'Hara Foundation, and the Otsego County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. He is currently on the advisory Board of National Education Assistance Dog Services (NEADS), was President and is now Second Vice President of the Port Chester Obedience Training Club.

Kathy Gregory, CNWI

Kathy was born into a family that bred Boston Bull Terriers. She met her first Doberman while in college and has shared her life with this breed ever since. She is a member of the Doberman Pinscher Club of American and the Long Island Doberman Pinscher Club.

An active member of PCOTC since 2003, Kathy served on the Board of Directors from 2006 to 2015 and as CFO and Treasurer for seven of those years. Kathy was also Board appointed as AKC Delegate from PCOTC in 2015.

Kathy's dogs have achieved many titles in conformation, obedience, agility, and nose work competitions. Her red boy, Dante, was the first of his breed to achieve a NW3 title.

Kathy has been an avid Nose Work enthusiast since taking the first Nose Work seminar given at PCOTC in 2010, and has been teaching Nose Work at PCOTC since 2013. Her students have included old dogs, puppies, blind dogs and retired agility dogs. Kathy believes that any dog with a nose can enjoy Nose Work, and that this sport supports shy, sensitive, and environmentally challenged dogs as well as dogs that just like to get out and have fun with their handlers. And some of Kathy's students are successfully competing at the highest levels of Nose Work.

Kathy has been invited to give Nose Work seminars as fund raisers for two different breed clubs in New York and New Jersey, and several animal shelter groups.

Kathy is a certified AKC Scent Work judge for all levels of competition and a NACSW judge for Odor Recognition tests.

Cynthia Grohoski, CNWI

Cynthia Grohoski is a Certified Nose Work Instructor (CNWI™). She has completed hundreds of hours of education and training in K9 Nose Work® classes, camp, workshops and seminars taught by K9 detection professionals on topics such as scent theory, K9 olfaction, subsurface and buried hides, and Mental Management® for nose work competitors. Before becoming an instructor at PCOTC, Cynthia was a class assistant for PCOTC's K9 Nose Work classes, and was previously lead instructor for CGC/TDI test prep classes as well as Intro to K9 Nose Work classes in Stamford, where she also does private coaching for nose work teams.

Cynthia is a judge for United States Canine Scent Sports (USCSS) trials. She is the first individual in Connecticut to be licensed by the American Kennel Club to judge its Scent Work trials, and is approved to judge all levels and classes for these AKC events. She volunteers regularly at NACSW events.

Cynthia’s “Blossom” has completed NASCW's NW1, NW2, NW3, NW3 Elite, ELT1 and ELT2 titles, all four NW3 Element titles, NW3-C, NW3-I, NW3-E, and NW3-V, and Element Specialty Titles L1-C, L1-I, and L1-E. Cynthia’s "Emma" has achieved NACSW's NW1, NW2, NW3, NW3 Elite titles, all four NW3 Element titles, Element Specialty titles L1-C, L1-I, L1-E and L2-C, and a UCSS Novice Interior title. 

Blossom and Emma have earned more than 30 titles in CPE agility trials and have earned Novice Trick Dog titles from the Do More With Your Dog organization. Emma is an AKC Canine Good Citizen.

Karen Reilly, CPDT-KSA, CNWI

Karen is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer Knowledge and Skills Assessed, a professional member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, a Certified Nose Work Instructor and is certified by Sue Sternberg for the CASA shelter dog program for Training Wheels and Train to Adopt.

Karen has been teaching for PCOTC since 2003. Helping handlers to understand their dogs and build that all-important trust is key in Karen's teaching. Karen's philosophy is using hands-off training as much as possible, using positive reinforcement, operant conditioning and reward-based training.

Karen completed her Certified Nose Work Instructor training in June of 2011. Providing nose work to shelter dogs is another very rewarding experience for Karen. This sport helps the shelter dogs by decreasing stress and keeping their minds active, using their innate scenting abilities. For many shelter dogs it helps them present better to potential adopters, since they are less stressed in their kennels.

She has been the volunteer dog trainer for the SPCA of Westchester located in Briarcliff Manor, NY since May 2001. Karen was the founder of the SPCA's Lead The Way program (teaching the public to walk, socialize and teach basic behaviors to the shelter dogs, increasing their adopt-ability). She also evaluated dogs for the Golden Outreach Program run by the shelter.

Karen has attended the APDT Conferences yearly since 2001 and has attended various Clicker Expos and many seminars over the years.

Karen's current teachers are her Siberian Huskies Suka and Miska, and Leo, a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon mix. Email her at

Jessica Schulte, CNWI, CPDT-KA

Jessica is a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers and encourages a compassionate, patient, and dog-friendly approach to training. It is important to Jessica that people—and dogs—feel understood and encouraged in training classes. In order to keep up on the latest innovations in dog training, Jessica reads everything she can get her hands on and attends seminars on dog training and behavior throughout the year.

Active competitors in dog sports, Jessica and her dog, Izzy, have championship titles in Rally and are working toward a CDX in Competition Obedience. They have also trained in agility. Jessica sees competition as a great venue for learning about teamwork, training—and grace.

Jessica became hooked on K9 Nose Work when she attended a workshop by two of the sport's founders. She has been to every trial on the East Coast as a competitor, trial secretary or a volunteer, and was among the first group of instructors to be certified on the East Coast. She is the National ORT Coordinator for the National Association of Canine Scent Work.

Jessica can be reached at